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"Unlockables" & online play


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First off, I don't have Action Replay. I really don't need it. ;)

I saw ant1's thread about using A.R. to unlock stuff and saw a similar thread over at the Xbox.com forums. I just wanted everyone's take on the whole thing.

I feel that having "unlockables" is cool in that it gives you incentive to finish a game.

BUT, once the gaming goes online, "unlockables" blow and here's why: In order for things to stay competitive, the playing field MUST be level and the person(s) with the unlocked item(s) has a CLEAR advantage. Actually, a DOUBLE advantage.

In order to unlock things (let's forget about A.R. for the time being) you have to play the game pretty good. Maybe the person's got nothing better to do than play this game ALL DAY LONG. Here we have the first advantage: SKILL.

On top of that, now they have access to faster cars, more powerful mechs (Ragnarok), better guns, better players (Links & Top Spin), etc. Advantage number 2: ITEMS.

So now, everything being EQUAL, this person could probably wipe the floor with you, but everything's NOT equal 'cause they have better stuff.

Basically, unlockables only reward the better players. It'd be like giving Mike Tyson (in his prime) brass knuckles to use in his next fight, 'cause he's the better fighter. :roll:

The way I see it, all Action Replay does (in this instance) is level the playing field.

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Why do we have unlockables in the first place? Part of it is to act as incentive. If there was no point, why would these people sink their lives into the game in the first place?

 

I don't know. The reason I'm not terribly convinced is that you listed their experience/skill as a source of uneven competition. So you're saying that everyone should be forced to only play a game or practice a sport a limited amount of hours so that their competitors will be "level" with them?

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there is no better feeling then a person with SKILL using a Caterham 7 beating a person with an Action Replay using an Enzo:-)

 

you won't build skill if you don't play and get the unlockables.

 

the great thing about live is that you can FILTER out the people with the higher skill or cars, or mechs etc.

 

In top spin I got my ass handed to me countless times because I was playing people ranked 100 or higher. but you don't learn to be better unless you play the better people, but if I wanted to, I could just filter them out.

 

I've been playing PGR 2 a lot recently, and have only come across a few people that were a-holes about not switching cars if everyone in the race didn't have something unlocked. We booted those A-holes as simple as that.

 

Most real racers and nice players understand and will accommodate by choosing a car from a specific class or choosing the same car as everyone else (elimating car class benefits).

 

that is the beauty of LIVE, there are so many people to play with you are bound to find the players with your skill, thoughts, game style soon enough.

 

later,

Chris (powerslide376)

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I welcome the chance to meet an action replayer on the links with their 60 skill point profile. I guarantee someone who has earned 1/2 of those points by playing the game will beat the "downloader" (in exchange for a more descriptive term).

 

Why even bother buying the game if you don't have time to play it?

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Midtown Madness 3 has the right idea - keep content locked for single player, but allow those fast cars into the hands of everyone for online races to keep the playing field level.

 

The one place I see unlockables for online working is Live For Speed. Since the game is all about the hardcore driving model, anyone cheating their way to the fastest cars promptly loses that advantage by spinning off every other corner until they realise that they would get round the track faster in something slower but more forgiving.

 

Actually, you'd be surprised the number of times I've beaten supercars on twisty-turny MM3 courses with the Mustang and the Mini, simply because the handling is so lovely.

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When you realize that PGR2 unlockables are actually a reverse handicap system, I'm not sure how you can justify it as acceptable. :roll:

For myself, I'm not really fond of offline games, so completing these rediculous unlockables is a chore that I simply won't partake in. Conversely I'd spend hours on end competing online, but I can't because I simply won't be competitive. :(

This was the case for me when motogp2 came out as well, sadly motogp was without a doubt my most cherished game, but the unlockables in version 2 just took all the fun out of the game for me.

 

I did like what mm3 did with unlockables, more of a hey look what I got with the different paint jobs, but no one was unfairly handicapped.

I'm too cheap to buy AR, so unlockables can actually sway my purchasing decision.

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i agree about the chalenge and reward of unlocking stuff on your own. something i would of cherished when i was 15 and my biggest concern was how big my next joint was going to be.and having no excess money meant i only had the odd game and it had too last.

 

however i am now 37, new home owner of a very old house that needs work, have a pregnent girlfriend, a busy work schedule... basically a life. i do not have the hours to put into a game that i used too, nor the patience to pull rabbits out of my ass to manage that final no mistake allowed last challenge.

 

there are some games that are rewarding to finish(i believe pgr2 to be one of them), but a game like motogp2 with it's insanely unforgiving championship mode that you need to finish to get your custom bike leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. i put it away and gave up on building my bike and just used the default bikes online. which left me uncompetitive in the better rooms, which in turn made me stop playing. and motogp was by far my favorite xbox game. long and behold a few months later i find out i can download a save game with everything unlocked . well i jumped right back into playing and started killing my personal bests and allowed me a fighting chance online. did i challenge the worlds best, not even close. but i was able to gage myself on a more even field.

 

now that is my dilemna with pgr2, i want to do the challenges, they are fun, and i do not need to complete them at the top level to unlock what i want. but it will take me a long time, especially since most of my play time is live. now by the time i unlock everything everyone might have moved on to greener pastures and i will not have had the chance to play all the tracks.i don't mind about the cars because i earn kudos online, but the tracks need to get unlocked. now Buck has offered to let me unlock them in his rooms by letting me win. is that fair, is that not sort of cheating and not earning my tracks? how many of us have the ring thanks to his hard work. are you all cheats, not getting full enjoyment of the game...?

 

i believe it's up to the individual what they want to do with their purchased game, as long as it doesn't allow for cheating.

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I'm not terribly convinced
I'm not trying to convince ANYONE of ANYTHING. I'm just offering my POV and seeing how everybody else feels about this.

But I guess the crux of my "argument" can be found here:

everything being EQUAL, this person could probably wipe the floor with you, but everything's NOT equal 'cause they have better stuff.
So not only does this person have the time, skill, patience, whatever to unlock everything, in doing so, they've most likely become rather proficient at the game. Again,
It'd be like giving Mike Tyson (in his prime) brass knuckles

Some have made the argument for me. Like saying someone who "unlocked" everything using A.R. would get their ass handed to them by somebody who unlocked half the stuff the old-fashioned way. Why? Because the person that "actually" unlocked things has more skill than the person who used A.R.

Let me come at this from a different angle. Let's use Rainbow Six 3 (which I've finished) as an example, which BTW has no unlockables. What if the grenade launcher was an unlockable? The G.L. is so unbalanced that if you host, you decide whether you can use them or not. So I'm pretty good at the game, I've finished it and now I'm rewarded with a weapon that will DESTROY people online. How is that making the game more fun for ANYBODY (me or my victims :twisted:)? Hell, if anything, I'd rather give a n00b the G.L. since 9 out of 10, I'm still gonna pwn.

As far as:

you're saying that everyone should be forced to only play a game or practice a sport a limited amount of hours so that their competitors will be "level" with them?
Of course not, because you're talking about SKILL and I have no problem with that. Plus, I have lots of it. :green:
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I can empathize to a degree. I like PGR2. I like it a LOT. But I have a fixed amount of time right now, and I'm really more into Links (especially with the tournaments, but also just to play the other regulars). I really, really wish the two games didn't come out at the same time. I'm not happy yet with my Links proficiency (Thro shot 54 on Superstition Mountain...I am DOOMED!), so that's where my time goes.

 

I'm a little depressed when I play PGR2 occasionally and usually everybody has better cars than me. But you know what? Sometimes we all race Minis, and I'm happy to finish anywhere but last place. It's not just the cars, I just haven't put my time in to get proficient yet. Hopefully when I have any substantial time to devote to PGR2(which could be January), there are still a lot of members playing.

 

But I wouldn't use an Action Replay to unlock more cars. I don't consider it cheating, per se, but I know that I'm not really up to the skill that I should be driving every car yet.

 

On the other hand, games like Top Spin (and maybe even Links) should offer an online 'Arcade' mode, where everybody has a level playing field and plays with 'stock' characters. That way, people who want to jump in and play a balanced (not impacted by characters that you have built up and developed online) game would have the ability to do so. There's nothing wrong with offering a pure test of individual skill that is completely independent of how much time a person has invested offline in 'Career' mode.

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Originally posted by ant1@Nov 26 2003, 04:52 PM

just too reiterate, my interest is in the tracks not the cars. i do not believe we should have to earn tracks, they should be available from the get go and since i can earn kudos online(majority of play time) the cars will come eventually.

Except my personal concern is not with all the cars you can earn with tokens, but rather the ones you can't. None of them are a problem with the exception of the Cebera...

 

Anyway, does anyone know what Microsoft's official policy is (if mentioned at all) for using Action Replay for online games?

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but a game like motogp2 with it's insanely unforgiving championship mode that you need to finish to get your custom bike leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. i put it away and gave up on building my bike and just used the default bikes online. which left me uncompetitive in the better rooms, which in turn made me stop playing.

 

Complete bullshit. Yes, the Championship was very hard, but Climax knew that. You can be more than competitive with the good stock bikes, or with a custom that only had maybe 3/4 of the full points. I've played MGP2 for god knows how long, and I still haven't completely maxed out my bike.

 

I think were losing cause because they were faster than you. Knowing the tracks and how to powerslide is way more important than having a maxed bike.

 

I'm not a big fan of unlockables, but the way MGP2 did the custom bikes and other unlockables was more than fine with me, and I think PGR2 is great since you can be somewhat cometitive in most classes with the default cars, and you can earn tokens to unlocks cars while you're playing online.

 

Locking tracks for online play is rather dumb though.

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i totally agree, they had mad skills compared to mine. and i still did not beat the best when i got a maxed bike, nor expected too.

 

the jest of my point was that i found the challenges far more frustrating than rewarding which in turn left me bleh. it is an online title, and that is what i look for in a game now, especially a racer. allow me to judge myself on a level playing field.i will not be contending for the top spots and i know it, but i also don't want my doors blown off on a straightaway because somebody has the free time and patience to jump through the required hoops to get the ultimate ride.

 

should you be rewarded for finishing a game sure, should i be handicapped because i don't have the time or the skills to do the same, no. if i can't handle my ride and mow grass most of the time, laugh at my ass as you zoom on by. i would.

 

 

i think all online elements should be available to everyone from the get go, or at least easily attained.

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Originally posted by DrunkOM@Nov 27 2003, 02:32 AM

Complete bullshit. Yes, the Championship was very hard, but Climax knew that. You can be more than competitive with the good stock bikes, or with a custom that only had maybe 3/4 of the full points. I've played MGP2 for god knows how long, and I still haven't completely maxed out my bike.

I think we're all entitled to our own opinions. :roll: Just because someone's opinion doesn't align with yours doesn't make it bullshit. :evil:

Motogp2 is old news anyway, climax paid at the checkout counter for their mistakes.

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Saying that you can't compete online because you don't have a fully maxed out custom is not opinion as far as I see it, it is an incorrect perception that people have because they need some reason for not being as good as everyone else.

 

I'm not disagreeing that some of the challenges were frustratingly stupid, because they were. I'm just saying that it wasn't required finish them to compete on a near even playing field online.

 

climax paid at the checkout counter for their mistakes

 

:roll:

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